Women's Basketball
Illini Wrap Up Road Trip With Trio of Games

Freshman guard Ivory Crawford led the Illini in their most recent contest with a career-high 16 points at Illinois State on Dec. 7.
Freshman guard Ivory Crawford led the Illini in their most recent contest with a career-high 16 points at Illinois State on Dec. 7.

Dec. 15, 2011

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Week Six Women's Basketball Notes

Game 10 – Illinois (4-5) vs. #15/20 Texas Tech (8-0)
Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 // 1:00 p.m. CT // United Center (20,000) // Chicago

On The Air
Television: Big Ten Network (Lisa Byington and Stephanie White)
Radio: Live on WDWS-AM 1400 and online at fightingillini.com (Brian Moline)
Live Stats: Available on fightingillini.com

The Series
This is the first meeting between the Illini and the Red Raiders.

The Coaches
Illinois: Jolette Law, 60-78 overall and at Illinois (fifth season)
Texas Tech: Kristy Curry, 267-124 overall (12th season) and 88-73 at Texas Tech (sixth season)

Game 11 – Illinois vs. Montana State (7-2)
Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 // 3:00 p.m. CT // South Point Arena (4,000) // Las Vegas

On The Air
Radio: Live on WDWS-AM 1400 and online at fightingillini.com (Brian Moline)
Live Stats: Available on fightingillini.com

The Series
This is the first meeting between the Illini and the Bobcats.

The Coaches
Illinois: Jolette Law, 60-78 overall and at Illinois (fifth season)
Montana St.: Tricia Binford, 95-95 overall and at Montana State (seventh season)

Game 12 – Illinois vs. Dayton (5-3)
Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 // 3:00 p.m. CT // South Point Arena (4,000) // Las Vegas

On The Air
Radio: Live on WDWS-AM 1400 and online at fightingillini.com (Brian Moline)
Live Stats: Available on fightingillini.com

The Series
Dayton leads the all-time series, 2-0. Last meeting: Dayton 81, Illinois 74; Jan. 17, 1981

The Coaches
Illinois: Jolette Law, 60-78 overall and at Illinois (fifth season)
Dayton: Jim Jabir, 361-341 overall (25th season) and 141-118 at Dayton (ninth season)

Quick Hits
Road Warriors: Illinois continues its nine consecutive away games with a contest at the United Center in Chicago against #15/20 Texas Tech following trips to Cleveland State, Oregon, California, Puerto Rico, Clemson and Illinois State.

On the Oregon-California-Puerto Rico trip alone, the Illini traveled a total of 8,610 miles from Champaign to Chicago then on to Portland and San Francisco before heading to San Juan for a pair of games before returning to Chicago and back home to Champaign. In addition to its current trip to Chicago, only the second time the Orange and Blue have played within the state boundaries since a Nov. 15 victory over Memphis, the Illini also travel to Las Vegas for a pair of games before returning to Assembly Hall to meet Alabama A&M on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The Illini rank second in the Big Ten in blocked shots at 5.3 per game with 48 through nine contests. Individually within the conference, Karisma Penn owns second in rejections as the junior averages 2.4 per contest - only 0.2 behind the leader, Ohio State’s Ashley Adams.

Scouting Texas Tech
The Red Raiders enter the United Center contest with an 8-0 record on the year and #15 national ranking according to the Associated Press. Texas Tech is led by Kierra Mallard’s 14.9 points per game while Casey Morris (10.9) stands as the only other Red Raider scoring in double-digits. Mallard averages a double-double as a result of pulling down 10.5 rebounds per contest while contributing 18 blocks on the season, the only Texas Tech student-athlete with more than nine on the year. The Orange and Blue will be the second Big Ten opponent of the 2011-12 campaign for the Red Raiders, with Texas Tech battling Penn State to a 70-66 victory in Lubbock, Texas, on Dec. 3.

Scouting Montana State
The Bobcats enter the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops tournament with a 7-2 overall record through nine games and a 1-1 mark in neutral site contests. Montana State has three scorers averaging double-figures, led by Katie Bussey’s 19.3 points per contest. Rachel Semansky (15.2) and Ashley Albert (13.6) also eclipse 10 points per game on average while the Montana State offense outscores opponents by 12.2 points a game as a whole over the first nine contests. While being out-rebounded by the competition at a very slim rate, 40.6-to-40.0, Semansky leads the way with an average of 8.6 in each game and Albert follows with 7.1 per contest. The Bobcats have also played one Big Ten opponent already this season, dropping a 71-61 decision to Wisconsin on Nov. 25 - their most recent loss as Montana State has claimed victory in each of its previous four games.

Scouting Dayton
The Flyers opened the season victorious in five of their initial eight games, including the previous two contests. Justine Raterman is the only scorer averaging double-figures, with 12.6 points per game and a team-leading 5.6 rebounds in each contest. To bump its record over .500 on the season, Dayton secured a pair of victories over Boston College, 69-60, and Wright State, 77-69, in its duo of December games.

Facing A Challenging Slate
Illini head coach Jolette Law compiled one of the toughest schedules in the country according to the combined strength of Illinois’ opponents. The Orange and Blue will battle 10 opponents appearing in or receiving votes for the current Associated Press top-25 weekly ranking, while the Illini have the fifth-highest national strength of schedule according to RealTimeRPI.com as of Dec. 12 and the most difficult slate within the conference. In-state rival Northwestern follows with the second-toughest 2011-12 campaign, owning the No. 24 spot in the rankings.

Coming So Close
In two of its losses this season, the Illini were within one shot of securing the lead during the final minute of action as Illinois lost at Oregon, 77-74, and against Arizona State, 51-50. Had the contests swung in favor of the Orange and Blue, they would stand at 6-3 overall rather than the current record of 4-5. After playing back-and-forth basketball over an 11-minute stretch in the second half, Illinois last led the game at Oregon, 72-71, before the Ducks scored a pair of free-throws for a one-point lead with 1:51 left. Oregon never led by more than three over the last two minutes, while Illinois got within one on a tip-in by Karisma Penn with 28 seconds remaining.

In the final contest of the San Juan Shootout, the Illini and Sun Devils competed in a back-and-forth contest throughout the majority of the game. With Illinois leading by one and time winding down, Arizona State needed a turn-around jumper with the defense in its face to secure the win.

Your Newest 1,000-point Club member
Junior Karisma Penn is quickly climbing up several career charts, including recently eclipsing the 1,000-point mark against RV/#18 Green Bay. The Shaker Heights, Ohio, native enters the Clemson contest with 1,062 points, the 21st-most all-time, and is the 24th Illinois player with more than 1,000 points. Penn also ranks 17th in Illini history in career rebounds (578) and third in career blocks (157).

Illinois’ Career Scoring List
 	Points 	Player 	        Years
1.	2,160	Jenna Smith	2006-10
2.	2,089	Ashley Berggren	1994-98
3.	1,984	Jonelle Polk	1983-87
4.	1,906	Lisa Robinson	1978-82
5.	1,639	Angelina Williams	2001-05
20. 	1,091	Alicia Sheeler	1996-99
21.	1,062	Karisma Penn	2009-

Illinois’ Career Rebounding List Rebs. Player Years 1. 1,217 Jenna Smith 2006-10 2. 1,014 Cindy Dallas 1998-04 3. 933 Jonelle Polk 1983-87 4. 900 Lacey Simpson 2005-10 5. 896 Lynnette Robinson 1978-82 -- 16. 589 Nicole Vasey 1994-98 17. 578 Karisma Penn 2009-

Illinois’ Career Blocked Shots List Blocks Player Years 1. 231 Jenna Smith 2006-10 2. 163 Lacey Simpson 2005-10 3. 157 Karisma Penn 2009-

McCully Moving Up Career Assists List
Lydia McCully moved into 12th all-time at the University of Illinois in career assists with six combined against Green Bay and Arizona State. McCully now has 307 for her career after posting five more total in Illinois wins at Clemson and Illinois State, only five shy of passing Allison Curtin (1998-01) for the 11th-best ever with the Orange and Blue.

Illinois’ Career Assists List
	Assists	Player 	        Years
1.	550	Jill Estey	1989-93
2.	507	Jenny Johnson	1984-88
3.	451	Lacey Simpson	2005-10
4.	391	Michelle Vossen	1980-84
5.	342	Tauja Catchings	1996-00
10.	312	Shavonna Hunter	1999-02
11.	311	Allison Curtin	1998-01
12.	307	Lydia McCully	2008-

Magrum Returns From Injury
After starting 15 games and averaging 4.3 points per contest as a freshman in 2009, Kersten Magrum missed all but three games last season suffering from a stress fracture in her right foot. Following her recovery, Magrum has returned strong, scoring in double-figures against Cleveland State, Memphis, Oregon and California, including a career-best 24-point, 12-rebound performance against the Ducks on Nov. 18. Magrum also has a pair of double-doubles through the first nine games, tallying 10 points and 10 rebounds against Memphis on Nov. 15 in addition to her career-best night against Oregon. On the year, Magrum is second in points (11.7) and rebounds (7.2) per game among Illini and is shooting .405 (34-for-84) from the field and .857 (36-for-42) from the charity stripe.

Block Party One Of The Best In School History
Illinois had 12 blocked shots in its victory over Memphis on Nov. 15 - tied for the second most in a game in school history. Four of the top five single-game blocks totals have come during the Jolette Law era. Adrienne GodBold and Karisma Penn each recorded four rejections during the contest while Kersten Magrum and Taylor Tuck added a pair of blocks each as well. The record is 13, set on Jan. 27, 2011 vs. Penn State.

McGee Suffers Season-Ending Injury
Sophomore guard Centrese McGee will miss the 2011-12 season after suffering an ACL tear in her right knee just prior to the start of the school year. The Calumet City native had surgery on Oct. 6 to correct the injury and will use the current season as a redshirt year as she recovers.

McGee started all 32 games for the Fighting Illini during her freshman campaign, averaging 5.7 points per game and ranking second on the team in rebounding at 5.3 per contest. She led all Big Ten freshmen in rebounding while ranking second among those first-year players in steals (1.2 per game). Following the season, she received the Coaches’ Award at the team’s annual banquet and was Illinois’ representative on the Big Ten Sportsmanship Team.

A Full Fifteen
For the first time under Jolette Law, the Illini have a full complement of players on the roster. Returning 10 players from a year ago, the Illini added an impressive class of five for this season.

The incoming class includes two players from state championship teams -- Alexis Smith (West Islip, N.Y./St. John the Baptist H.S.) and Taylor Tuck (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook H.S.) and all five players who have excelled in the classroom. The rest of the class includes Ivory Crawford (Chicago, Ill./Proviso East H.S.), the No. 88 ranked player in the class (No. 6 in Illinois) according to Blue Star Basketball; Nia Oden (Brooklyn, N.Y./Christ the King H.S.), the 30th-ranked wing player in the class according to ESPN HoopGurlz; and Kierra Morris (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park Academy), a first team all-state performer.

The returnees had a combined for 266 starts coming into the season from Lydia McCully (93), Macie Blinn (23), Eboni Mitchell (18), Lana Rukavina (34), Adrienne GodBold (5), Karisma Penn (65), Kersten Magrum (15) and Amber Moore (13).

Big Ten Tournament Tickets On Sale Now
All-session tickets for the 2012 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at the Illinois Athletics ticket office, Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is the site of the tournament from March 1-4. All-session tickets are available for $50 through January 31, which marks a 30-percent discount off the regular price of $70. Fans wishing to purchase all-session tickets within their university’s fan block for their respective team’s games only are encouraged to contact their school’s ticket office.

Illini to See Plenty of TV, Internet Coverage
The Illini will appear on national television at least seven times this season. In addition, 13 more games will be streamed live online on the Big Ten Digital Network and FightingIllini.com All-Access.

For the season, all 16 Big Ten Conference games and all Illinois home games will be either nationally televised or streamed online. In addition, all 10 Big Ten Tournament games will be televised, with the Big Ten Network airing the first three rounds and ESPN2 broadcasting the championship game.

Law Locks Up Two for 2012-13
Illinois head coach Jolette Law has announced the signing of 6-0 guard Mckenzie Piper (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West H.S.) and 6-3 forward Nia Moore (Bolingbrook, Ill./H.S.) as members of the 2012-13 Illini class.

Piper committed to Illinois in June following Elite Camp after considering Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa State and Iowa among others. Piper averaged 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and shot 41 percent from the field in helping Iowa City West to the championship game of the Class 4A state tournament last season. The three-star recruit also played for All Iowa Attack and is ranked as the 59th best guard in the class by HoopGurlz.

Moore committed to Illinois in October after also considering Notre Dame, Auburn and Wisconsin. She is the second player from the highly successful Bolingbrook High School program to join the Illini, along with current freshmen Taylor Tuck. Moore was the starting center for the 2011 IHSA Class 4A champions, who won the last three state titles in the largest class in Illinois. Moore is a three-star recruit according to HoopGurlz and transferred to Bolingbrook after playing her first two years at Morgan Park High School. HoopGurlz ranks her as the 82nd best forward in the class nationally and evaluates her as a “shot blocker/changer.”